Preview: Devils vs. Crunch, 7 PM
ALBANY, NY – The Albany Devils are playing with a lot of confidence at home and rightfully so. The team has won a franchise record eight-straight games at Times Union Center. That streak will be put on the line when Albany hosts the Syracuse Crunch Friday at 7 pm.
The Devils remain second in the North Division and third in the Eastern Conference with a 20-8-3-0 mark (.694). The Crunch are fifth in the division and ninth in the conference with a 14-13-5-1 record (.515).
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
• Albany: The Devils lineup had a major shake up Friday morning. New Jersey recalled defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani, center Jim O’Brien and right winger Paul Thompson. Also, New Jersey returned right winger Mike Sislo on loan to Albany. The Devils are riding an eight-game winning streak on home ice, which is the third longest home-winning streak in the AHL this season behind Grand Rapids’ current 11-game stretch and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s 10-game run (Oct. 17-Nov. 28).
• Syracuse: Jonathan Drouin will make his season debut for the Crunch after being loaned by the Tampa Bay Lightning on Jan. 2. The 20-year-old was the third overall pick during the 2013 NHL Draft. He has appeared in 89 NHL games, producing 40 points with six goals and 34 helpers. At the AHL level, he has played two games, posting three points with a goal and two assists.
DEVILS VS. CRUNCH SERIES
• All-Time: Friday’s game will be the 46th all-time meeting between the two franchises. The Devils are 19-20-2-4 overall with a 7-12-1-3 home mark and a 12-8-1-1 road record. This season, Albany is 3-0-0-0.
• Last Meeting: Backed by a pair of Jim O’Brien goals and three Corey Tropp assists, the Devils defeated the Crunch, 3-1, on Dec. 11 at Times Union Center. In his season debut, Scott Wedgewood made 17 saves on 18 shots. Offensively, Brandon Burlon joined O’Brien in the goal column and Reid Boucher registered a pair of assists.